Friday, March 30, 2012

Bully - a documentary that forces you to confront the extent to which cruelty is embedded in our schools and our society as a whole

I have not seen this film yet, but I can assure you, I will be one of the first to see it when it comes here to Arizona. This is an issue near and dear to my heart. I know first-hand the agony and devastation bullying can cause. And with the issue taking on political and religious overtones, solutions to the very life-threatening situations many of our children face by merely getting on a school bus or walking through the doors of their school, could not feel more elusive and unattainable.

Hell, not even two weeks ago, my very own whack-job Arizona legislature proved, yet again, no problem is too pressing or deadly for our children that it can't be made into a partisan/religious score-one-for-the-god-party drama. A bill that had bipartisan support and would have mandated bullying-prevention programs for school employees, allowed parents to opt their children into similar programs, and created a wider definition of bullying that, among other things, included electronic harassment such as via Facebook or text message was effectively killed by a very powerful lobbyist group that claims to "Protect Arizona Families" and "Put Your Biblical Worldview Into Action".  Unfortunately in their quest to protect Arizona families and put their version of a biblical worldview into action here in Arizona, the Center for Arizona Policy (and Cathi Herrod in particular) has decided no anti-bullying bills can ever be passed into law. After all, the risk that even one GLBTQ child might be protected from the devastating, soul-crushing affects of bullying is absolutely unacceptable - can't have no homosexual agenda taintin our kids. So thanks to Cathi's vallient fight to legislate "Your Biblical Worldview Into Action" we will continue to see children bullied, some of them right into the grave.

Bully is not GLBTQ focused, although I believe there is at least one child of the 5 chronicled in this documentary that comes out as lesbian, but there is no denying that GLBTQ students are bullied at much higher rates than the general student population, which makes this movie a must-see for all parents, but especially parents who have GLBTQ children. The movie brings home the urgency of this problem, the need to cease and desist with the politicization of the issue, the need to drop-kick those who stand in the way of finding solutions in the name of their so-called "biblical worldview" and most importantly, the need to start a serious national discussion about how to tackle this very serious problem and make it easier for victims to get help.

I have heard the movie is quite moving and powerful. It definitely moved Mike Huckabee. Yes, you heard me right, Mike Huckabee. And in a big way. Watch this clip if you don't believe me:

I confess, I have felt so very angry and hopeless for so long about this issue that I have to admit, seeing someone like Mike Huckabee so passionate and so moved by this movie truly gives me hope that I have not felt for a very long time. Watch out Cathi Herrod, when you lose someone like Mike Huckabee, it is the beginning of the end for homophobes like you.

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